* Any SIFI list would be based on spurious criteria-Ackermann
* SIFIs are moving targets - Ackermann
* SIFIs surcharge should cut bank levy -Ackermann
(Adds details, background)
FRANKFURT, March 23 Current efforts to identify
banks that pose the greatest threat to financial stability are
inherently flawed, Deutsche Bank (DBKGn.DE) Chief Executive
Josef Ackermann, who also chairs a bank lobby group, said.
The criteria for defining a systemically important
financial institutions (SIFI) are likely to be "spurious" which
creates an incentive to manipulate any such list for political
reasons, the chairman of the Institute of International Finance,
said at a conference on Wednesday.
"We have already seen this in the efforts of many
supervisors to flat out declare their respective domestic
champions as being not systemically important," he said.
Ackermann also stressed that banks identified as SIFIs
should as a compensation be asked to pay lower taxes.
"Should the regulatory community nevertheless decide to
impose a surcharge on systemically important financial
institutions, a strong case could be made to roll the bank levy
and SIFI surcharge into one, so that contributions under a levy
are credited under a SIFI surcharge and vice versa," he said.
SIFIs are a moving target, he said, adding that current
efforts to define SIFIs have underlined the difficulty of
finding the right criteria.
"A list of SIFIs threatens to deflect supervisors attention
from institutions that are not on that list at a certain point
in time," Ackermann said.
Global supervisors are hammering out a package of measures
designed to make big, complex banks safer and less of a burden
on taxpayers in case of future crises. It could force them to
hold an extra capital cushion, possibly of 2 percentage points.
International banking supervisors have agreed on the
methodology for identifying banks that might pose a threat to
the financial system, German financial watchdog BaFin recently
The so-called Basel Committee of banking supervisors, which
is working to develop new rules to avoid future financial
crises, agreed on five criteria to be used in drawing up a list
of SIFIs: size, inter-connectedness, global reach, complexity
Ackermann also repeated his criticism of a tax on financial
transactions, that European leaders are calling for to recoup
some of the money spent for bailing out banks. [ID:nLDE7260LI]
A tax that would cover transactions such as derivatives
would reduce speculation and public deficits, its supporters
A 0.05 percent tax would bring in nearly 200 billion euros
in the EU, rising to 650 billion at the global level.
France and Germany have already pushed for a global
transaction tax at the Group of 20 (G20) level, but faced
opposition from the United States and Canada.
"Introducing a financial transaction tax in the Euro area
would be disastrous, since it would severely undermine
competitiveness and attractiveness of the Euro area as a
location for financial services," Ackermann said.
"Business would likely locate to locations outside the euro
The IIF represents more than 430 financial institutions
including Deutsche Bank (DBKGn.DE), HSBC (HSBA.L), Citigroup
(C.N), JPMorgan (JPM.N) and UBS UBSN.VX.
(Reporting by Edward Taylor; writing by Arno Schuetze; Editing
by Jon Loades-Carter)